Ted Bundy and 9 Other Famous People Who Couldn't Handle Law School

ted bundy

Photo: AP Images

With employment for recent law school graduates at just 85.6 per cent, the lowest since 1994, you can’t be blamed for failing to complete law school.These 10 individuals started but never finished.

Not all of them dropped out. One brilliant individual was expelled for poor grades. And some simply moved on to other studies.

Among them—in addition to the dark mark on this list, Bundy—there are writers, philosophers, and musicians.

Diane Sawyer

Law school: University of Louisville

Dropped out after: 1 semester

After getting her bachelor's degree from Wellesley College, the ABC News anchor attended one semester of law school in Louisville. She dropped out to study journalism.

Source: Yahoo TV

Paul Simon

Law school: Brooklyn Law School

Dropped out after: a few months

The New Jersey native, more famous for his musical talent, did a stint at Brooklyn Law, but 'in his heart it was not what he wanted.' Simon decided his future was in music, and the rest was history.

Source: Laura Jackson, 'Paul Simon: The Definitive Bio,' page 50.

Karl Marx

Law School: Bonn University and Berlin University

Dropped out after: about 2 years

The German philosopher abandoned the law after becoming consumed by the idea of alienation.

Source: Francis Wheen, 'Karl Marx: A Life,' pages 17, 27.

Ted Bundy

Law school: University of Utah

Dropped out after: 1 year

The infamous serial killer of the 1970s was accepted to the University of Utah Law School in 1973 largely because of letters from then-governor Daniel Evans of Washington and several of his professors. He quit after a year.

Source: Biography.com; Investigation Discovery

Demetri Martin

Law school: NYU

Dropped out after: 2 years

This Daily Show contributor has made quite a few jokes about his two-year stint in law school, which he said he hated after just one week.

Source: YouTube

Federico Fellini

Law school: University of Rome

Dropped out after: (enrolled but did not attend classes)

The Italian neorealist filmmaker used his student status as a way to escape conscription in 1938.

Source: Yahoo Movies

Harper Lee

Law school: University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

Dropped out after: 3 semesters

Nelle Harper Lee dropped out to pursue a literary life in New York City, and she went on to write the classic 'To Kill A Mockingbird.' Famously, she never wrote another book.

Source: Biography.com

Donald Rumsfeld

Law school: Georgetown University

Dropped out after: about a year

He began night school at Georgetown in 1960, pursuing a law degree. But he ultimately dropped out to pursue politics.

Source: Bradley Graham, 'By His Own Rules: The Ambitions, Successes, and Ultimate Failures of Donald Rumsfeld,' pages 44-5.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Seymour Hersh

Law school: University of Chicago

Dropped out after: less than a year (expelled for poor grades)

After graduating from the University of Chicago in 1958 with mediocre grades, Hersh was admitted to the law school. He flunked out his first year because of poor grades. Hersh then went back to a previous job at a Walgreens until landing a gig at the City News Bureau, making $35 per week as a copyboy.

Hersh is now one of the New Yorker's most respected writers.

Sources: Chicago Tribune, Columbia Journalism Review

Now take a look at some people who persevered through law school.

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